Compare Which Security System Is Right For Your Home

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According to the most recent FBI statistics, a property crime occurs approximately every four seconds in the United States, and a burglary takes place every twenty seconds. We don’t intend to frighten you with these facts, but knowledge is power—especially when it comes to keeping your home and family safe.

So, you might be wondering, “What can I do to protect my property and my loved ones?” Based on our experience, we strongly advise taking a proactive approach. Start by staying up to date on crime in your neighborhood. Then, learn how to choose a home security system and become familiar with top-rated home security brands like ADT and Vivint Smart Home.

This in-depth review of ADT vs. Vivint outlines important features and benefits of both companies. We also compare ADT and Vivint security packages and suggest when and why one home security system may be a better choice than the other.

ADT Overview

In business for over 140 years, ADT has extensive experience in the security industry. It’s best known for protecting homes from burglars, but ADT also offers home automation solutions, carbon monoxide monitoring, flood protection, and medical alert devices that integrate with its home security systems. Boasting positive user reviews and an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, we aren’t surprised ADT is the nation’s leading home security company with over six million customers.

Vivint Overview

Since its founding in 1999, Vivint has been showered with positive press coverage and numerous awards. Vivint hasn’t been in business nearly as long as ADT, but it’s made a name for itself as a cutting-edge smart home technology provider—offering not only home security solutions but also home automation and energy management services. Vivint serves more than one million customers throughout the United States and Canada.

ADT vs. Vivint: Packages

Compare and Review ADT & Vivint Security SystemsADT offers various home security packages through Protect Your Home (an ADT Authorized Premier Provider) that include basics like a control panel, door and window sensors, a pet-immune motion detector, and a decal and yard sign. There are also full-feature options that give you access to the ADT Pulse® app which delivers a variety of benefits, including wireless security monitoring, mobile access and alerts, and live video services.
With Vivint, a Smart Home Pro will help you build a system that best meets your needs and budget. Vivint security plans are customizable, but all packages include the Vivint SkyControl Panel, a smoke alarm, a limited number of door and window sensors, and free access to the Vivint Smart Home App. For an additional cost, you can add home security and home automation devices like the Vivint doorbell camera, smart locks, indoor and outdoor cameras, and more.

ADT vs. Vivint: Contract Length and Early Termination Fees

ADT plans typically require a three-year contract. If you terminate your contract early, you’ll pay 75% of the remaining contract balance. If during the first six months of service you’re unsatisfied with ADT—and the company has attempted to resolve your concerns—you may be eligible for a refund on installation and monitoring charges.

Vivint offers a month-to-month service agreement when you purchase your equipment upfront. Alternatively, you can finance your equipment for no down payment at 0% annual percentage rate for a maximum of 60 months (subject to credit approval). Financing requires signing a monthly service agreement. If you cancel your contract early, you must pay the remaining balance.

ADT vs. Vivint: Home Security System Guarantee

You can buy an extended limited warranty from ADT, known as a Quality Service Plan, but it doesn’t cover equipment that’s damaged by external causes such as lightning or electrical surges. Without a Quality Service Plan, ADT does not cover equipment repairs or replacement.
With Vivint you’ll enjoy a lifetime guarantee on all company equipment, as long as you remain a Vivint customer and sign up for Premium Service. If you decline Premium Service, your equipment warranty lasts 120 days after installation.

ADT vs. Vivint: Installation

ADT vs. Vivint InstallationSome companies offer DIY installation, but both ADT and Vivint require professional installation for their home security systems. Professional installation can be advantageous since a technician will take care of everything for you. They’ll assess your home’s layout, install sensors and devices in optimal locations, and answer any of your questions.
ADT charges a fee for installation. Cost varies depending on the security system you choose and other factors, but all installations include a security evaluation of your home with suggestions on how to best situate and customize your security system to your needs. In some areas, ADT from Protect Your Home offers the convenience of same-day installation.

One thing to keep in mind about ADT is that you can’t take your home security system with you if you move. However, ADT offers a Mover’s Security Guarantee which provides you with a no-cost security system if you move from your home more than two years after signing up. Some restrictions apply.

The biggest difference between ADT and Vivint installation is cost. With Vivint, professional installation is free with your service. Another point of difference between the two companies is that ADT uses subcontractors for installation, while Vivint installations are performed by Vivint employees.

If you move and sign a new contract with Vivint, you won’t be charged a moving fee. On the other hand, if you keep your current contract, or you’ve been a customer for less than twelve months, a $99 moving fee applies.

ADT vs. Vivint: Monitoring

ADT and Vivint provide year-round, 24/7 monitoring to customers in the United States and Canada. Both companies own their monitoring centers, versus subcontracting monitoring as some home security providers do. ADT has six monitoring centers, while Vivint has two. But Vivint serves far fewer customers.
Vivint received the Monitoring Center of the Year Award for 2017 from The Monitoring Association (TMA). Its centers have also earned TMA Five Diamond Monitoring Center designation for their high levels of customer service.

ADT vs. Vivint: What We Like and What Could Be Improved

Advantages of ADT

  • 140 years of home security experience
  • Offers both landline and wireless plans
  • Six high-tech monitoring centers, all owned by ADT
  • Convenient same-day installation in some areas
  • Multiple security packages to choose from

What Could Be Improved

ADT requires long-term contracts which could scare off potential customers. Offering shorter contracts, or even month-to-month options, may help ADT gain even greater market share.

Advantages of Vivint

  • 100% wireless system, no landline required
  • Email and text alerts available with every plan
  • Sleek equipment design
  • Innovative home automation and energy management features
  • Flexible financing
  • Custom home security packages designed to meet your needs

What Could Be Improved

Vivint’s network isn’t as robust as some competitors, and they only offer wireless monitoring, which could be discouraging for older demographics that prefer landlines. Increasing monitoring options could attract more customers.

ADT vs. Vivint: The Bottom Line

ADT is the clear choice if you’re looking for a company with decades of experience. ADT might also be a better choice than Vivint if your primary concern is monitoring. Not only does ADT have a more expansive network of monitoring centers, it also offers three types of monitoring (landline, cellular, and broadband)—giving you more choices than Vivint, which only offers cellular monitoring.
Vivint may be the better choice if you don’t have a home phone—as all its plans are 100% wireless. Vivint’s devices are a bit more modern-looking than ADT’s, so if you’re concerned about aesthetics, Vivint has the advantage. Vivint also wins out over ADT when it comes to flexible financing as it offers a month-by-month service plan, whereas ADT requires a long-term contract.

The time to purchase a home security system is now before you experience a burglary or safety emergency. Find out more details about ADT home security plans and Vivint home security plans, then choose a package that best meets your family’s needs.

Please note that packages, pricing, and services may change at any time.

Written by Kasey Tross

Kasey Tross is a stay-at-home mom with four energetic kids, and she's married to a security expert, so safety is a top priority in the Tross home. When she's not writing, she enjoys reading, hiking, playing the flute, helping out at church, and eating far more chocolate than she should. Learn more

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